Gizmodo – “A bipartisan amendment that would have prohibited law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, from obtaining the web browsing and internet search histories of Americans without a warrant failed to pass in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday by a single vote. Twenty-seven Republicans and 10 Democrats voted against the amendment to H.R. 6172, which will reauthorize lapsed surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The amendment offered up by Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Sen. Steve Daines, Republican of Montana, would have forced the government to get a warrant before obtaining the internet search history of Americans. Under Section 215 of the Act, the government can compel phone companies and internet service providers to turn over such data, if it is deemed vaguely “relevant” to a terrorism or counterespionage case. In a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Sen. Wyden questioned whether law-abiding Americans should have to “worry about their government looking over their shoulders” at all times of the day.
“The typical American may think to themselves, I’ve got nothing to worry about. I’ve done nothing wrong. The government has no reason to suspect me of anything. Why should I worry?” Wyden said. “Unfortunately, the question is not whether you did anything wrong. The question is whether a government agent believes they have the right to look at your web searches. In other words, it’s open season on anyone’s most personal information.” “The warrantless collection of Americans’ web browsing history offers endless opportunities for abuse,” he said…”